There's an empty chair in my daughter's bedroom. It's where I've sat for many years. We had it upholstered for her when she was three. it's worn from endless times when Con (my husband) or I would cuddle, read to and chatter with her.
You don't imagine then that there'll ever be a day when you could bear to part company; that you could do different lives and even be in different countries. But over time they grow and you grow. Items thrown over it change from little leotards to makeup, bundles of friends or siblings, study notes and work clothes. The conversation changes from toys to boys, through friends, exams and auditions, heartache, laughter and dilemmas. Each one precious in its way. Connection, connection, connection.
She grew, we grew.
Slowly the longing to keep her close is superseded by the desire to see her fly, spread her wings, take chances, be independent, see the world.
So off she goes today, to the other side of the planet.
"She'll be back," I hear you say.
Yes! But the moment they step out of the front door and officially leave home feels significant.
Maybe I'll snuggle into that chair from time to time and roll my mind over the 19 years I'm so grateful for....and the ones to come.
As she said herself recently; "In front of every person, there's a story!"